Thursday, March 15, 2012

Finding a Special Friend

I would like to introduce you to a friend of mine...this is Calsile

Calsile and I met in Swaziland, and she wrapped my heart around her finger. At Capital, we are the official sponsors of the Mkhombokati Care Point in Swaziland. The kids who come to this Carepoint do so every day and receive community, fellowship, and food from the mages and gogos. Calsile is one of the younger kids who come to the carepoint.

She doesn't speak any English, but is plenty vocal in siSwati, the local language. Many times she'd say something to me in siSwati, and then just keep on talking. She talked to the other children a lot too, though from what I understand, she is pretty new at the carepoint.

She and I spent a lot of time together while at the carepoint. She would usually come and find me when I arrived or when she did. Then she'd grab on to my hands and not let go until it was time for her to leave with her sister. She absolutely captured my heart.

Calsile is one of the kids at Mkhombokati carepoint without a sponsor. I do not know if she is on the updated sponsorship list that we'll be receiving from Children's HopeChest soon, but regardless of her sponsorship status, Calsile will be my special friend, and one of my most treasured memories of Swaziland.

Two weeks ago, our church received the new "batch" of kids to sponsor from the Carepoint...and guess who was one of the new kids?!?! My little girl! Calsile is OFFICIALLY my special friend! I was so happy that I was telling anyone who would listen about her and our connection in Swaziland!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

World Travels...Ayi!

Alright, I've just done the math. And it's been a crazy month. In the last 30 days, I have done the following:

Black: driving to Oregon for Grandma Wilson | Blue: driving back to Utah | Burgundy: Flying to Africa | Gray: Flying home from Africa | Light Green: flying to see Britni

Driven through 6 states [Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Idaho]
Spent time in 7 airports [SLC, Detroit, JFK, Amsterdam, Johannesberg, Midway, Indianapolis]
Passed through 4 countries [USA, Netherlands, South Africa, Swaziland]
Spent the night in 7 different cities [SLC, Tualatin, Salem, Johannesberg, Manzini, Nelspruit, Urbana]
Spent approximately 30 hours in various airports
Driven for approximately 58 hours [as a driver and passenger]
Spent 54 hours flying in planes

Was located in:
Oregon for 9 days
Utah for 8 days
Africa for 12 days
Illinois for 3 days [yes, this one is March - but it's still part of the travelling]

Goodness. Travel is exhausting! I hope that wherever you are, you are well, not jet-lagged, and enjoying the comforts of your own space. :-) Happy first weekend of March!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bubbles and Nail Polish

Yesterday (Thursday) at the carepoint was an absolute blast. The day can really be summed up by the words "bubbles" and "nail polish". To see the joy on the kids faces when they experience bubbles in their faces, and run around screaming to catch and pop them was so wonderful. Bubbles are universal for children. They always bring a smile to kids, no matter what age, or country they are from. One little girl, I think it was her first time experiencing bubbles, and she stood with a very confused face while I blew bubbles around her and the other children. After a few minutes, she understood what was happening, and took part in the crazy running and popping extravaganza.

We brought out bags of nail polish and painted the nails of the children during both the morning (just toddlers) and the afternoon (school-age children/teens). The kids loved it so much that they would take the nails you just painted, wipe off the polish, and come back for more. Many times I'd be painting someone's nails bright blue who already had rings of green and orange around their nails. It made me smile to see how something we deem so simple can be so exciting to these children.

On Wednesday, one of the boys said to me "I wish you could speak our language." and I totally agreed with him. It would be a wonderful, wonderful thing to be able to communicate with these kids in siSwati, even though they love English, they like to help us learn words in their first language.

I love talking and spending time with these kids. The more time I spend with them, the more I want to come back and be with them here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lessons in Humility

Our second day at the carepoint was probably one of the hottest days I think I've ever experienced. But that was not the biggest thing to take away from the day.

Today we had the opportunity to give new shoes & socks to the kids. For the younger kids, we had a pair of shoes that will keep thorns out and dirt off. For the older kids there were shoes for school. Before we gave the kids their shoes and socks...we washed their feet.

What an amazing experience to serve these kids in that way. Several moments during that time I found tears in my eyes. It was incredible to find that the washing of feet, no matter where they are, still have the power to show love to others.

I don't really have the words to say tonight to let you know exactly what is happening here. After some time to journal tonight and tomorrow there should be more to say. Just know that we are all so honored and completely moved by these children.

Please pray for members of our team who are feeling under the weather. Pray that there is time to do all the things we want to do for the children and the mages at the carepoint. Pray that we would be able to show love to all the kids - the ones who are shy and outcast too.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


We finally made it! All the way to Africa!!! It's about 11:30pm here, and we have breakfast tomorrow morning between 6:30-8am. Our bus leaves a little after 8am to drive to Swaziland.

Tomorrow is all about orientation and getting ready to be with the kids at the carepoint. We leave at 8am, drive 5 hours, and then get orientated to what we're about to do for the next week and a half.

It's raining here in Johannesburg, and there is some lightning and thunder going on. We're so ready to be with the kids. It's so exciting knowing that it's almost time for us to meet them and be with them at the carepoint.

Love you all!!!


We're out of the USA! As I write this, our team is sitting outside our gate in the Amsterdam airport. We've got two more hours before we board and take off to Johannesburg - where we will stay overnight before traveling to Swaziland tomorrow morning.

The whole team is pretty tired, and some members were already battling illness before we please pray that we will all stay (or get) healthy. After we board the plane in Amsterdam, our flight to Johannesburg will be about 11 hours [insert enthusiastic "woo-hoo" here].

There are 25 of us, and each team member has two bags weighing 50 lbs. each. Except for one woman, who has an extra - we packed 51 bags total to bring with us. Praise the Lord that we had wonderful Delta concierges who passed bags through if they were over weight or more than the two we should have per person.

The internet here in Amsterdam is on a 30 minute free session, of which I have 10 minutes left, and it's running kind of slowly, so I should not go on much more for fear of this post not publishing once finished.

Know that we are all safe and sound, and that our journey into the continent of Africa is about to begin. We will arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa at about 10pm.

Looking forward to keeping you all up to date with what is happening with our team in Swaziland.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

On your mark...

Get set...

That's right! Tomorrow I leave for Swaziland! I can't believe the time has actually come! It seems like this last year we've been planning and planning and we'd never actually be getting on a plane, but here we are getting ready to leave on a plane at 8:30 in the morning on Saturday!

As we're on our journey, I don't know what internet access will be like, so I don't know for sure if I'll be able to communicate with everyone about what's happening. However, each day, our team will be doing a devotional together, and I have scheduled a post with that devotional to come up each day we're traveling or in-country. Please do read them and pray along with us.

While our team is in Africa, please pray for:
safe travel - we'll be going by plane and bus, through Malaria zones, and in a country with high rates of HIV
the kids we'll be ministering to - that their hearts would be open, and their needs met
the team members - that we would mesh well and be blessed by the kids and carepoint staff
our families and friends at home - that they would provide the necessary support so the team can come back knowing there is not chaos at home.

Specifically for me:
pray that my professors would be patient with me as I work to catch up after returning from Swaziland
pray that I would be receptive to everything God wants to speak to me while we're there
pray that I'll wake up on time! :-)
that I would be able to minister to these kids in a way that they will understand and receive - and that they will do the same for me.

Thank you all for your incredible support as I've prepared to leave with our team. The time is finally here, and I can't wait to share everything we do with you - either as it happens, or upon returning to the U.S.


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